About this Plan
Malibu. Radio control 2m sailplane model. Wingspan 76in, wing area 456 sq in.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Quote: "Mary, The Malibu is a 2 meter sailplane kitted and sold by Astroflite (AFI) back in the 1970's... the Malibu was the glider that I used to learn to fly on... Enjoy. Mike McCrabb"
Note for the later 1971 version of this design, see Malibu II (oz10393)
Update 7/7/2023: Added kit review from MAN, December 1970, thanks to RFJ. Note this file was previously listed along with the Malibu II plan over at oz10393.
Quote: "Field and Bench Review: Astro-Flight Malibu, by Charles M Kenny.
Gliders have always had a special place in my modeling heart, dating back to the early 1940s when as a fledgling hobbyist I built Thermic 18's, 20's and many Thermic 50's and 50X's. In the fifties while in college my roommate and I built a Jasco Floater which flew beautifully. We even flew the Floater at night with a small flashlight illuminating the inside of the fuselage. The fuse was covered with white doped silkspan and gave off an erie glow from the light. However the local gendarmes put a stop to that after the second night because alarmed neighbors were complaining about a white 'thing' flying around the park.
When an opportunity to do a Field and Bench on a glider came along, I grabbed it, because my old love was still there. MAN asked me to review Astro Flite's Malibu and the new Kraft KP-3B system with KP-12 servos. Malibu is a sleek looking glider having a wing span of 76 in, wing area 456 sq in, aspect ratio of 12 to 1, modified NACA 4412 airfoil, stab area 72 sq in, vertical tail area of 41 sq in, and a 42 in fuselage length.
Upon receipt of the kit my first order of business was to go over the plans. Two sheets are provided, one showing fuselage and empenage details, and theother two wing halves. A six page instruction book is also included providing construction and flying info. After reviewing plans and instructions, fuselage construction is started.
All fuselage formers are die cut from 1/16 plywood and 1/8 balsa fuselage sides and bottom are cut to size. The 1/8 bottom is pinned to the fuselage plan view and formers are glued vertically at their proper positions. To aid in alignment a center line was drawn on the fuselage bottom and center line for each former was marked. A small triangular piece of balsa was added to the bottom of each former to aid in mounting to the fuse-lage bottom and to insure verticality. Formers are 1/4 in narrower than the fuselage bottom and should be centered so 1/8 in of the fuselage bottom shows on each side.
The third former from the front (c) should be positioned for servo mount spacing. Kraft KPS-9 and 10 spacing are shown on the plans. 1/4 x 3/8 servo mounting blocks provided should be glued to the third and fourth formers (C and D) at this time. Next the nose block is glued in place and 1/8 balsa sides are fastened using a clothes pin to clamp the tail together and weights or a C-clamp to close the forward end of the fuselage against the formers.
While the fuselage was drying, I glued the tail surfaces in place on the plan. Vertical fin is made from two 1/4 in thick pre-cut parts while the stab and elevator are 1/4 balsa pre-cut. Elevator and rudder must be tapered and sanded, stab and fin just need sanding.
Next 1/4 x 1/4 balsa push rods were assembled. I used .065" dia Oxy-weld #7 welding rod for push rod ends. This material is much easier to bend than music wire and is more than adequate strengthwise. A pound of weld rod costs $.40 and will probably last the average builder several years. The servo end of the push rod is left straight and tail ends are bent as shown on plan. Weld rod ends were assembled to the push rod by wrapping with 1/2A control line cord and then smearing with Titebond. After installing push rod plastic exit guides in the fuselage rear, push rods were installed. Top of the fuselage was then sheeted..."
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User comments"We flew The Malibu at Malibu!" -- a true story: As early 1970s high school kids eager to learn how to fly R/C, me and my brother Art and our friends Rick, Zac and Bill and others were fortunate to live near Bob and Roland Boucher and they taught some of us the basics of trimming out our models and how to slope-soar in the shoreline and inland slope lift to be found in Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Playa del Rey, Culver City ("Hughes Hill"), Simi Valley, and thermal soaring at Pierce College, Cal State University at Dominguez Hills, and elsewhere.
Rick built a Malibu, and we all have fond memories of that model flying circa 1971-73 at beautiful "African Violets", a slope just north of Pepperdine University's Malibu campus. Great days, and even after all these years we often get together and fly gliders.
So it is wonderful to see the original Malibu design now available thanks to Mr. Mike McCrabb and the good folks at OuterZone!
NB: A succinct history and overview of the Boucher brothers efforts with their company Astro-Flight:
John Rood - 07/07/2023
All true! And after building the left wing panel flat and straight, somebody explained what the mystery term ‘washout’ was as indicated on the plan. The wing, now was completed and being of all sheet balsa construction, there was no going back.
I had my first successful soaring flight with the Malibu on my birthday after staying up all night to finish it. My mom drove us to Malibu for that glorious day, waiting in the car for hours as we chased around after our gliders trying to figure out this thing called slope soaring… a concept we had only read about.
Looking out to sea over the pacific, I tossed my Malibu off the bluff and into the hands of the Gods as it seemed. And then it finally happened… nine minutes of magic as my Malibu slid back and forth along the cliffs edge, making pass after pass. Finally the term washout caught up with me, as I made a too slow left turn, tip stalling and crashing in the tall grass. I was ecstatic!!
- rick circa 1971
Rick perkins - 11/07/2023
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